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Fortnum & Mason reports record results, with 22% rise in online sales

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Fortnum & Mason has reported record results, driven by growth in online sales following the launch of its new website.

The upmarket food and drink department store this week reported sales of £88m in the year to July 2015, 19% up on the previous year. Pre-tax profits of £5m were 31% up on last time. Online sales grew by 22% in what Fortnum described as an “outstanding” performance for its new website.

Kate Hobhouse, chairman of Fortnum’s, said: “We are delighted with these figures, which are the reward for the programme of enhancements we have brought to the brand during the year. The past few years have seen us expand as a store, and I am particularly pleased that we have managed to do this without compromising the essence of Fortnum & Mason, and our focus on quality of service and authenticity of our products.”

As well as launching a new responsive website during the year, the retailer also launched a new Heathrow store and, last month, a restaurant, 45 Jermyn St.

Looking ahead, the retailer said this Christmas, with its focus on hampers and Christmas food, was set to break records. “We’re now focussed on Christmas of course,” said Hobhouse, “and all the signs suggest we are going to have our best festive season on record. Looking to the future, we know we can’t afford to rest on our laurels and we will continue to invest in the business to provide our customers with the best possible experience, in-stores and online. I am confident that the upward trajectory of our business will continue.”

Cain Ullah, chief executive of Red Badger, which developed the new Fortnum’s site, said: “Adoption of digital across the industry continues to grow and grow with more shoppers online both on desktop and mobile devices. But key to the growth of online sales this year is an exemplary customer experience. Fortnum’s are open and unafraid of criticism and they value their customer’s voice, being happy to involve their customers in every step of developing their website.

“This gave Red Badger a great deal of insight and freedom in the way we were able to build fortnumandmason.com, shipping new features into live multiple times a day and asking Fortnum customers to provide feedback directly to the team. This facilitated us building a website that Fortnum’s customers love to use with innovative features such as “build your own hamper” further enhancing the brand experience that Fortnum’s customers expect.”

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